Operation School Bell was awarded a Trinity Community Outreach Grant in 2016. Here’s a little bit of their story.

Operation School Bell helps at-risk students arrive at school prepared and ready to learn by providing apparel (outerwear, shirts, pants, socks, hats, hygiene kits, etc), footwear and other selected inventory of uniform parts (pants, shirts, underwear) to those who cannot afford these items on their own (31% of children age 18 and under live in poverty in Marion County).

With support from donors such as Trinity Episcopal Church, Assistance League of Indianapolis can continue to support economically challenged students throughout Indianapolis. Thank you for your assistance to help us make a difference in our community.

On behalf of Assistance League® of Indianapolis, we would like to thank Trinity Episcopal Church for your generous grant award to support our largest philanthropic program, Operation School

Bell®. There are three divisions of the Operation School Bell:

Operation School Bell – Apparel Operation School Bell – Shoes Operation School Bell – Beyond the Bell

All divisions serve economically disadvantaged students in the Indianapolis area who live at or below the poverty level. The following is a summary of our 2016-2017 fiscal year.

The Operation School Bell shop was opened mid-August through mid-November 2016. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the Apparel goal was to provide 3,375 students with new school clothing and hygiene items all in a canvas duffle bag. We are pleased to report that we served 3,400 students in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), Metropolitan School Districts (MSD) of Lawrence, Pike, Warren, and Washington Townships.

Operation School Bell – Shoes served students in IPS, and the MSD’s of Lawrence, Pike, Warren, Washington and Wayne Townships. Working with a local shoe retailer, each student was properly measured in grades K-8 and provided one new pair of athletic shoes and six pairs of socks. We are delighted to report that our goal was met at 2,850 students. In December, Shoes worked with a private donor to provide an additional 474 students at IPS School #346 with new footwear.

For 30 years, the Operation School Bell shop had been in the Service Center for Indianapolis Public Schools (SCIPS) building. The SCIPS building is being redeveloped. IPS has reconfirmed its commitment and found a new location for the Operation School Bell program while continuing to offer support of various warehousing services. This new space houses the Operation School Bell Shop, inventory, retail support and IT services in addition to the Shoes and Beyond the Bell Divisions. Forest Manor Professional Leadership Development Center is located at 4501 E 32nd Street, Indianapolis. Having the program on a single floor is a huge advantage as we will not have to move merchandise via stairs and elevators. The building also has a passenger elevator that allows us to accommodate students with disabilities who may require a wheelchair. While we have approximately the same square footage as we did at the SCIPS building, the floor plan allows us to have additional dressing rooms.

Strategic Goals

Goal 1: Strengthen membership by balancing the age and the skill demographics of the Chapter.

Goal 2: Expand Operation School Bell® to work toward fulfilling 100% of requests from schools currently participating.

Goal 3: Maintain the number of adults and children served to meet 100% of requests from agencies currently being served.

Goal 4: Resource Development Committee will strive to achieve an annual balanced budget.

Goal 5: Communicate the chapter’s accomplishments to recognize Assistance League of Indianapolis as a major philanthropic organization in the community.

Goal 6: Enhance the leadership to secure the future of the Chapter.